MILWAUKEE — The Brewers acquired second baseman Jonathan Schoop in a trade with the Baltimore Orioles, adding another option to a crowded infield as they make a push for the playoffs.
The Brewers sent second baseman Jonathan Villar and two prospects to Baltimore.
Schoop was the second infielder Milwaukee acquired in the last few days before Tuesday’s non-waiver trade deadline. The Brewers also dealt for third baseman Mike Moustakas from Kansas City. The plan then was for left-handed hitting third baseman Travis Shaw to shift to second base. The 26-year-old Schoop now gives Milwaukee a right-handed option at second.
The Brewers have also played Hernan Perez at second of late.
The upside of having so many infielders is having another quality bat available on the bench.
“Really, what it comes down to for us is we think we’re getting better and we think we’re adding to our overall depth,” general manager David Stearns said.
The Brewers were in Los Angeles on Tuesday for the second game of a four-game series with the Dodgers. They started the day a game back of the first-place Chicago Cubs in the NL Central but leading the NL wild-card race.
Milwaukee is trying to make the playoffs for the first time since 2011.
Schoop is batting .244 with 17 homers and 40 RBIs in 85 games. He is on a 12-game hitting streak, posting a .345 average with seven homers and 16 RBIs in the stretch. Schoop has hit safely in 22 of his last 23 games.
In Schoop, Stearns acquired a young player still under contract for 2019. He has a guaranteed $9 million salary for next year.
“We talk about control and in this case, it certainly played into the valuation of the player,” Stearns said.
Besides Moustakas and Schoop, Milwaukee also traded for reliever Joakim Soria from the White Sox last week.
But the Brewers did not add a starter, which was an area of concern following injuries to Brent Suter (elbow) and Zach Davies (shoulder). Jimmy Nelson (shoulder) remains sidelined after getting hurt late last season. Stearns said the team could still look to deal in August, though he voiced confidence in a rotation currently headlined by Jhoulys Chacin (10-3, 3.45 ERA).
“I think we’ve probably had a little bit more confidence in our group throughout this year then perhaps there’s been externally and that’s fine,” Stearns said. “Certainly we were open and active to add to that group but at this point, we were unable to do so.”
Milwaukee also sent RHP Luis Ortiz and infielder Jean Carmona to the Orioles for Schoop.